Republican-led legislature, Gov. Grietens make Charter Schools a priority

The Missouri Legislature will convene this week with nearly 300 Senate and 500 House proposals filed for the legislative session.

But one topic was noted in the recent Southern Boone Schools annual breakfast with governmental officials – Charter Schools.

Superintendents from three districts, including Southern Boone’s Chris Felmlee and Harrisburg’s Steve Combs both spoke out during the meeting against Charter School legislation. However, Rep. Chuck Basye (R), of Rocheport, reminded the meeting’s attendees that “education is not free” as a part of the Charter School discussion.

During the 2017 legislative session, Charter School legislation was passed by a divided House, but not passed by the Senate.

A pre-filed bill again this year proposes expansion of Charter Schools in Missouri.

“This is simply an effort to fulfill a campaign promise for Gov. Grietens,” Felmlee said in an interview last week. “I’m sure he will do all in his power to bring Charter Schools to local communities. School boards (from rural districts) need to realize it will take money away from rural schools.”

Currently, Charter Schools are only available in St. Louis and Kansas City. The proposed legislation would open the doors to Charter Schools elsewhere, however, Rep. Sara Walsh, (R) of Ashland said she did not think the legislation would threaten rural districts.

“People are moving to Ashland because we have a wonderful school district,” Walsh said, “and I will be passionate in my work to make sure SoBoCo is not hurt by this legislation. I want to continue to hear from constituents and listen to everyone in the district.”

~ There’s more to this story in today’s Journal ~

By Bruce Wallace